Thursday, October 28, 2021
Threatened by “authoritarian” China
Taiwan confirms deployment of US soldiers
The US is helping Taiwan prepare for a possible Chinese invasion. For a long time no one wants to confirm that the US military is also active on the island. Now, for the first time, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen speaks openly about the Americans’ commitment.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has expressed her conviction that the US would defend the island in the event of a Chinese military attack. In an interview with US news broadcaster CNN, Tsai said she “had confidence” in US military assistance in such an attack. It also confirmed the presence of US military instructors in Taiwan for the first time. The President based her belief on Taiwan’s longstanding relationship with the United States, “the support of the American people, Congress and the government.”
Tsai described Taiwan as a “beacon” of democracy in the region. The threat posed by its “authoritarian” neighbor, China, is growing every day. Tsai also confirmed for the first time that US military personnel are training Taiwanese troops on the island. When asked how many US soldiers were stationed in Taiwan, Tsai replied, “Not as many as people think.” Taiwan is working with the US in many areas “to improve our defense capabilities,” she added. US President Joe Biden caused a sensation last week with the explicit assurance of military support to Taiwan in the event of a possible attack on China. “Yes, we are obliged to,” Biden replied at a meeting with citizens in the US east coast city of Baltimore when asked whether the US military would defend Taiwan against China. The White House then stressed that there was no change of course in US Taiwan policy.
Beijing warned against interfering in Chinese affairs. Biden’s statement could be interpreted as a deviation from the previous Taiwan policy of the USA. The United States has long followed a line of “strategic ambiguity” on this issue. While the US is assuring Taiwan that it will help it build up its defense capabilities, it does not explicitly promise to come to the aid of the island in the event of a war. These policies are designed to prevent Chinese invasion while preventing Taiwan from formally declaring independence, which Beijing regards as a red line.
USA want Taiwan to participate in the UN
Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that is to be reunited with the mainland – if necessary with military force. Taiwan split from China in 1949 after the communists’ triumph in the civil war. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have increased again in recent years. The incidents in which Chinese fighter jets penetrated the Taiwanese air defense area have recently increased. The Taiwan issue also contributes to the tense relationship between Beijing and Washington.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for Taiwan to be more involved in the UN system. Beijing vigorously denied this the day after. Taiwan has “no right to join the United Nations,” said a spokesman for the Beijing government office on Taiwan affairs. The United Nations consisted of sovereign states, but Taiwan was “part of China,” said the spokesman. Taiwan lost its seat at the United Nations in 1971 in favor of the People’s Republic of China. However, despite the tensions, the Taiwanese president is ready to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. “We can sit down and talk about our differences and try to make arrangements so that we are able to coexist peacefully,” Tsai said in the CNN interview.